At What Age Does A Mans Fertility Decline?

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Most studies and data we have look at how age negatively affects a woman’s fertility. Unfortunately, there are few good studies showing how a man’s fertility changes as he ages? We are now seeing fewer men having children in their 20's while men having children in their 30's and 40's has increased. Basically, men are waiting longer to have children. If it is increasingly more difficult to father a child with age will male fertility become more of an issue? At what age does a man’s fertility begin to decline?

BLOG - Men Only Have 1/2 The Fertility Of Their Fathers 

Women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. As a woman moves through her reproductive years, she slowly releases all of her eggs. Men's fertility is different. Men produce sperm from scratch! We have the ability to produce sperm almost infinitely as long as we are healthy. Unfortunately, we know that all sperm are not created equal. Men may have quantity on their side, but quality is a big factor for their fertility and ability to have a HEALTHY child!  Just because we have sperm doesn't make us able to create a pregnancy.   

A study looking at over 8,000 couples trying to conceive has taken into consideration the age of the female partner. This helps to isolate a man’s age-related to his fertility. In this study, they found that men in their 40's were 30% less likely to conceive during a 12-month period when compared to men in their 20's. In another study comparing men over 45 vs those under 25 showed a 5-fold increase in time to pregnancy with the older group. What was unique about this study is that the results were almost identical when looking at those men who had a female partner under the age of 25. A 3rd study I read about looked at Intra Uterine Insemination pregnancy rates (IUI) with 900 couples. Men doing an IUI under the age of 35 had a 52% chance of pregnancy while men over 35 only had a 25% chance of pregnancy.  
Link to above studies

So, what is happening to a man’s fertility as he ages? Why does it take longer for men over the age of 35 to achieve a pregnancy with their partners? The first thing most people think is that the amount of sperm produced declines with age. Less sperm makes it harder to have a child. Unfortunately, this doesn't seem to be the case. Although some studies have shown a decrease in sperm count with age others have shown an increase of sperm to the age of 50.  

It’s not sperm quantity that is changing with age, it is sperm quality that is declining! What is seen consistently is that sperm no longer swim as well (motility), maintain a normal shape (morphology) or contain the proper DNA (fragmented) in older men. This makes achieving a pregnancy more difficult. The pregnancies that are achieved with older men have higher chances of miscarriage and greater risk of possible birth defects. 

A Man’s Age Affects Fertility Even With IVF

So, what can you do to put the odds in your favor if you’re an older guy wanting to have a child? The good news is that there are many things a guy can do to keep his chances of conceiving in the top half of his age group and not plunging into the bottom. The following are 5 ways a guy can support his fertility no matter his age.  

1 - Stay Clean!
As we get older, we have been exposed to more chemicals which can build up over time in our bodies. Chemicals such as Phthalates Negatively Impact Male Fertility - https://acubalance.ca/blog/what-guys-are-doing-damages-embryo-quality-ivf  It's is impossible to completely eliminate these from our environment because they are found in everything from vinyl flooring to food packaging. We need to try to limit our exposure to these chemicals as best we can to decrease the detrimental effects it has on our health.  
 
2 - Eat To Boost Fertility
Switch over your diet to a more fertile friendly diet that minimizes chemical-laden foods, processed foods, sugar and alcohol. Eat a significant amount of vegetables and lots of fruits and berries. To learn more about what a man can eat to improve his fertility follow the links below:
3 foods Men Should NOT eat when Trying To Concieve    -   1 Thing Men Do That Increases Miscarriage Rates by 73%

3 - Move!
We need to keep our bodies moving. Regular exercise is associated with too many health benefits to mention. One of the most common benefit is weight loss. A man’s fertility is affected by his weight and I have also written a blog discussing how a man’s weight can affect his fertility. https://acubalance.ca/blog/can-mans-weight-affect-fertility A second benefit I wanted to point out related to fertility is that men who exercise have smarter children!  A really neat study showing the power of keeping yourself moving and its effect on a man’s future children.  

4 – Acupuncture
Acupuncture has shown to help boost fertility in men with poor fertility parameters. There are no needles in the testicles but in other areas of the body including the abdomen, back, head and extremities. The needles are able to help regulate hormones, nervous system, increase circulation and decrease inflammation. These treatments done over a period of time can have a remarkable reaction in the body.

5 - Photobiomodulation - Low Level Light Therapy - LLLT 
LLLT is a newer treatment being used to treat both male and female fertility. We at Acubalance have been able to use this technology in our office in Vancouver Canada. A study published in June 2018 states ""Analysis of the scientific literature suggests that laser therapy should be used as much as possible in the complex treatment of men with infertility since the effectiveness of the method is not just high, but often has no alternatives""    

STUDY found here
The laser decreases inflammation improves circulation and supports mitochondrial production. This can help with all areas of sperm development.  

3 short videos of Medical Professionals discussing the importance of Male Fertility when couples are trying to conceive either naturally or with IVF - What Do Men Have To Do With It?

 

If you have questions about the Acubalance approach to male fertility or want to learn more about our treatments please call the clinic to set up a free 15 minute phone consultation. Book Here

 

Best of Health

Ryan

 

Dr.Ryan Funk

Doctor of Chinese Medicine

Fellow of the ABORM

 

Ways to Support Men's fertility including laser and acupuncture.